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Cat Mortality in Shelters

Murray, J. K., E. Skillings, et al. (2008). “A study of risk factors for cat mortality in adoption centres of a UK cat charity.” Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery 10(4): 338-345.

In the United Kingdom, there are many animal charities that shelter and re-home cats. Cats Protection, the largest cat-only animal charity in the UK, re-homed about 60,000 cats in 2005. Risk factors for mortality in UK shelters have not been previously studied, and may be applicable to similar animal shelter situations elsewhere in the world. A case-control study was used to examine variables associated with mortality. Retrospective data was collected for 194 cases and 320 control cats. An increased risk of mortality was discovered for cats admitted to shelters unneutered, in fair or poor health, and for cats born at shelters. Kittens under 7 weeks of age and cats over 7 years of age had an increased risk of mortality compared to other age groups. Cats with disabilities also had an increased risk of mortality. Knowledge of risk factors contributing to mortality in shelters can help focus intervention strategies aimed at reducing risk.
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Related articles:
Cave, T., H. Thompson, et al. (2002). “Kitten mortality in the United Kingdom: a retrospective analysis of 274 histopathological examinations (1986 to 2000).” Vet Rec 151: 497-501.
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Bannasch, M. and J. Foley (2005). “Epidemiologic evaluation of multiple respiratory pathogens in cats in animal shelters.” J Fel Med Surg 7(2): 109-119.
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